The Key To Losing Weight in 2015

new-year-resolutionCan you believe it?  2015 is almost here.  We’re just five short years away from 2020 and ten years from 2030 (and the iPhone 22 – LOL). Of course this is also the time of year that millions of people begin thinking about writing their News Year’s Resolutions. And what do you think is the #1 resolution that most people make each and every single year?  You said “lose weight”, you’d be absolutely correct! The most common resolution is almost always to “lose weight”, “get healthy”, “eat better”, “begin regular exercise” or some iteration thereof.

Every year millions of people make this resolution and hundreds of thousands join a gym.  In fact gym memberships typically swell during the month of December and into January by as much as 40%.  Think about that for a second. If a gym has 1000 members, their membership numbers will grow to as much as 1400 members in a single month! According to StatisticBrain.Com, there are an estimated 58 million gym memberships in the US, nearly 18% of the country. That’s a pretty impressive statistic. If the numbers hold, then an up to additional 23 million are likely to sign up each year.

But here’s the rub. Approximately 67% of those memberships, more than 2/3, go UNUSED!  That means that with an average monthly membership cost of $58, Americans are WASTING $2,253,880,000 PER MONTH!  That’s $27,046,560,000 per year that is wasted on gym memberships. That’s just crazy! And so, year after year, Americans resolve to lose weight… AGAIN.. and they waste BILLIONS of dollars “trying” to do it. But why?

There are three keys to losing weight, plain and simple. They are Mindset, nutrition, and training.

You mindset is what’s going on in your head.  The secret to the mindset of weight loss is actually very simple. Stop “trying” to “lose weight”. Instead come an understanding that weight loss is not actually your goal. You goal is to live a fit, healthy lifestyle.  You goal is to increase your chances of living a longer, higher quality life by loving yourself enough to take good care of your body.  It’s the only one you have.

Your nutrition is what you’re putting into your body. Fast food, candy, chips, colas, frozen meals, none of these are going to give you the nutrition your body needs in order to not only sustain you, but give you more vitality, better health, better immune response, better sex, and better EVERYTHING that makes life what it is. The food that you eat says a LOT about how you feel about yourself. Eating foods that are high in the nutrients you need, at the times when the body needs it, is the key to nutrition.

And finally, there’s training. Notice the order of these three things. Mindset comes first. Nutrition comes second. And Training comes third. It’s an important step in the process, certainly. But, as the statistics show, most people only focus on the training aspect, see some quick results, then they plateau, get discouraged, and eventually quit. It takes ALL THREE of these areas to really losing weight. If you focus on training, but ignore your mindset and your nutrition, you’re then 2015 is going to be another frustrating year of failure.

So the key to losing weight is to begin with your mindset, learn about proper nutrition and put it into practice, and then do some form of physical exercise. That’s it!  There are no magic pills. There is no magic exercise program that, alone, will give you the six pack abs you’re looking for. You can’t do it simply by going to a meeting and stepping on a scale. It takes all three key components to make it happen.

So make 2015 the year you finally stop trying to lose weight and you start living a healthy life. You got this!

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Fear Is About Avoiding Pain

Fear is about avoiding some pain, real or imagined, mostly imagined I think. So what you actually do when you give in to fear is you accept this perception that the future pain that you have identified is very real and very probable. In order to give in to fear, you have to accept a perception as a reality.

But to assume that pain will be the end result is to assume that there is no good in the universe. It is to assume that the worst will come to fruition. That your experience will be one of pain and sorrow and suffering. And to assume that the worst will be your experience is to lack the faith that the opposite wil be true for you.

That is to say that to assume fear is to deny faith. To assume fear is to yeild your creative power to thougths of pain, and loss, and sorrow, and suffering. It is, in effect using your creative power to imagine a worst possible outcome and attach your experience to it.

Once you attach your experience to something, it becomes a part of you. It does not matter whether that experience is real or imagined. It becomes a part of your thinking process, literally wiring itself into your experience and becoming a part of your mental processing.

So the when an event similar to the one you have imagined shows up in your life, your mind will actually take the imagined experience of fear and pain into consideration when deciding what action to take in the given circumstance.

Interestingly, the longer you hold on to the fear, the more difficult it becomes to overcome it because the more real it becomes to you. It creates a viscous cycle of fear and avoidance of pain. And that is a survival centric mindset.

To think only in terms of survival is to be incapable of thinking in terms of success. The two thought processes are not only different, they are diametrically opposed to one another.

How To Die Only Once

Rumpelstiltskin-rumpelstiltskin-mr-gold-28080681-2000-1500So my 12 year old son has recently begun his first TV show with an ongoing storyline. He’s watching the show “Once Upon a Time”.  For a 12 year old boy the storyline is cool because there are nights, and dragons, and castles, and kings, and magic, and pirates… It’s actually quite interesting.

One the characters on the show is Rumplestiltskin.  Yes, yes, the imp who could spin straw into gold. But he’s actually a much more central character to the story than just the fable.  In this storyline he’s referred to as “The Dark One” because he’s a very powerful wizard of sorts. Of course the story also goes into his back story quite a bit.  Back to when he was an ordinary man.

You see, as an ordinary man, he was the son of a man whom everyone branded a coward.  So, by association, he must be a coward as well, just as his father was before him. He lived his life being afraid.  Afraid of death, afraid of loss, living up to everyone else’s expectations of him.

One day he came home and announced to his wife that he finally had an opportunity to prove his worth in a war. So he goes off to the battlefield, only to return with a self-inflicted wound that he did in order to avoid the fight. There are so many facets of this character and his sad story.

Shakespeare said “Cowards die many times before their deaths. The valiant never taste of death but once.”

Since my son was so into this show I thought it a good opportunity to explore the idea of the quote above. What does it mean in the deeper sense of things. As he and I explored the ideas we determined that the coward dies to himself.  He kills his own soul each time he fails to step onto the battle field. But there’s another quote my son and I have explored that goes hand in hand with Shakespeare’s statement… “Repetition is the mother of skill.”

This means that the more someone does something, anything, the more proficient and skilled they become at doing it. So the if one practices archery, one will improve over time. But the same is also true if one practices cowardice.  By rehearsing fear, and worry, and doubt, and failure, all things which we would attribute to cowardice, we become more proficient at being afraid. We get stronger in our doubt. We solidify our worries and fears and they in turn paralyze us from taking taking action that could move us in the direction of our goals and dreams, whatever they may be.

We end up living our lives experiencing one fear after another, one failure after another, and we end up being blinded to our power to change it because the more we do it, the better we become at it. But what happens when we wake up and realize that we have the power to control our lives by controlling our minds?  What would happen if instead of cowering in the corner, we stepped out and boldly proclaimed our intentions and took action to make the changes we wanted to see in our life and the lives of those we love?

I think if we did this. If we realized that life is not simply about surviving but about thriving and creating your vision by taking action. It’s about recognizing that right now is the only time you have. You will never be any younger than you are right now. You will never be further from death than you are right now. And you will never be any closer to taking the first step towards living your dreams than you are right now. To ignore these glorious opportunities. To resign yourself to living in the fear, that is the essence of dying within. And each time time you give in to the fear, you die again inside.

But if you step out on faith; faith in yourself, faith in your vision, faith in God or the universe or the Law, and faith in your ability to take action towards your dreams, you will be valiant and you will truly live.

 

Get My New Book – Success And Mindset Secrets For Love, Happiness, And Abundance

Success_and_Mindset_Secrets_2Yesterday I released my second book on Amazon Kindle.  The title is Success and Mindset Secrets for Love, Happiness, and Abundance. This book is a collection of blog posts that I began writing back in 2011 that are now unpublished.

In the book I talk about several things including:

  • The Optimist’s Guide to Expecting the Worst
  • The Mediocre Truth about Mediocrity
  • Wealth, Abundance, and Prosperity; The Etymology of Happiness
  • How To Kill Fear
  • The Power of Gratitude
  • and much MUCH more!

The book retails for only 99 cents on exclusively on Kindle and is available for as a FREE download until October 10th.

Go and get your copy TODAY!

—->>>>>> CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

 

 

Why Other People Don’t Want You To Change

reflectionHave you ever noticed how when you go to make some change in your life, to become who you truly desire to be, there always seem to be some people in your life who seem to not want you to change?   Sometimes they’ll even come out and say “You’ve changed” or “You’re a different person”, and if you’re truly applying yourself to become your ideal and to live your true self, they’re right!  You have changed.

But why all of the negativity from other people about the changes you’ve made or are making in your life? I believe it’s because what you change in yourself your reveal in others. Other people have an idea about who you are and the nature of human connection is that we tend to connect with people who’s values, thoughts, and beliefs most closely align with your own.  In other words you pick people who’s identity is similar in some way to yourself.

So when you begin making changes you will sometimes find things about yourself that you no longer wish to have, some character trait, belief, opinion, or action. When you disassociate yourself from that aspect it often can become glaringly obvious in some of those around you. It’s no that these are bad people, or necessarily flawed, it’s just that they partially identified with you and, in some cases, those traits you now recognize as disempowering in yourself.

James Allen wrote:

“As you are, so is your world. Everything in the universe is resolved into your own inward experience. It matters little what is without, for it is all a reflection of your own state of consciousness. It matters everything what you are within, for everything without will be mirrored and colored accordingly. All that you positively know is contained in your own experience; all that you ever will know must pass through the gateway of experience, and so become part of yourself.”

So if my world is a reflection of me, then that means that those I have connected to, who have become central to my world, are also a reflection of me.  And they are a reflection of me because of the alignment of our consciousness.

They don’t want you change because they don’t know or understand this new person in their life. They don’t know how to interact. They don’t know how to connect. And they don’t know how to connect because the part of you that connected them to you is now gone. If they can recognize this and accept it. If they can align themselves to your new paradigm, your new understanding of yourself; then they will eventually recognize the areas that they need to change in themselves in order to align to your new view, or they will desperately cling to their identity and all of it’s characteristics and eventually fall away from you completely.

It could be painful. You could have friends that fall away as a result. You could have family and other loved ones who’s path diverges from your own.  But in the end their s one person you must be true to if you are going to live your life to highest of your ideal: yourself.

“Do you wish for kindness? Be kind.
Do you ask for truth? Be true.
What you give of yourself you find;
Your world is a reflex of you.” – James Allen

 

The Sanctity of Gratitude

journalThe picture to the left is my “Gratitude Journal”. It is an emerald green,leather-bound journal that costs about $20.  The pen is a wooden shaft, roller ball pen that also cost about $20. From time to time I write the things I am grateful for in my life; my wife, my son, my family and friends, my talents and abilities, the opportunities that are presented to me almost daily to live the life of my dreams, and so on.

Now, there are some people who would say “Gary, why did you spend $40 on a journal and a pen, when you could have bought a spiral-bound notebook for 99 cents and picked up a freebie pen at the doctors office?”  The reason is simple.  I spent real money on this because it is something of value.

You see, this journal represents the things that I am grateful for.  It is a written reflection of my mind and my spirit.  It is something sacred to me because the information comes from the deepest part of myself. And I value myself enough to treat this journal with the respect and honor that it deserves, because my thoughts are worthy of respect and honor.

So what does this all have to with the title of this blog post?  What does this have to do with “killing a fat guy”?  If you’ve read my book you know that I talk about killing the fat guy identity in my mind, about killing “fat gary”.  But killing fat gary isn’t so much about destroying a disempowering identity as it is about finding and understanding my ideal self and learning to appreciate “fat gary” identity for providing me with a shining example of what I don’t want.

I am grateful for the fact that I was able to use this false self, this fat self, as a catalyst for defining and stepping into my ideal.  For the fact that I was able to use my struggle to inspire and help over 1000 other people who are facing the same challenge in their own life.

Anthony Robbins said “When you change your expectations for gratitude your life becomes a miracle”. For me I believe that means simply that when we focus on what we are grateful for we become attuned to identifying more things to be grateful and so attract more things to be grateful for into our lives. It’s about setting the active intention to identify the blessings and miracles in our lives, as opposed to the empty wanting of expectations.

When we have expectations, that is when we have things and circumstances in our lives that we “want”, we are fully admitted that we do not possess them yet. And no, I’m not talking about just material possessions or money.  I’m talking about EVERYTHING in life. We want a better job.  We want a better relationship. We want a healthier body. But when we turn that around and become grateful; grateful for our job and our income, grateful that we have someone in our life to have a relationship with, grateful that we have a body and it has an amazing ability to heal itself, then we focus more intently on the things that we can do to express our gratitude.

It’s all really very simple. Identify your ideal self. Be grateful for those people in your life, even in all of their flaws and imperfections. Learn to love who you are and who you can be. That is the beginning of gratitude and that is what makes it sacred.

If At First You Don’t Succeed… QUIT!

Thomas-Edison-QuotesHave you ever heard the phrase “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”?  I think the idea behind this statement is fundamentally flawed. We grow up hearing things like this and we feel like “OK, it didn’t work this time, but if I try it again, it may work next time.”  The problem with this idea is that it becomes engrained in our minds and we keep doing the same things over and over again, hoping for success, and expecting different results.

You see, in our culture we have this idea that success is something that you attain. It’s like an apex that you reach at some point after doing something over and over again. Contrast that with what we think about failure. We think that failure is something bad, evil, to be avoided at all costs. We even go so far as to label individual people as success or failure. “Wow, she’s so successful, she’s a success”. “Look at that guy, he’s such a failure.”.  We personalize these abstract concepts and make them part of our identity. As if I actually AM success or failure.

But what if failure is just a result?  What if we take all of the negative connotations and meanings out of it and make it what it actually is; a way that didn’t work. We’ve all heard the stories of Edison and the light bulb (or maybe you haven’t), where he “tries” over 10,000 different ideas before he came to the one the worked and eureka! Let there be light! Does that mean that he was a failure?  I mean the man “tried” over 10,000 times and failed to get the end result.  Success eluded him all along the way.

No, of course not. But here’s the thing. Edison didn’t “try” anything. He actually DID something.  He experimented with different ideas and concepts.  He played around with different materials and configuration. You see, he wasn’t “trying”.  He worked with one set of parameters and when he learned that it wouldn’t work, what did he do? He quit. Yes folks, that’s right. Thomas Edison was a QUITTER!

What do I mean by he quit?  I mean he didn’t continue to do the same things over and over again in the same way. When he found a way that didn’t work, he didn’t continue to try and make it work. He quit doing it that way and went on to experiment with another method.

Einstein said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. It’s the “try, try again” that becomes the insanity. If at first you don’t succeed in your objective; losing weight, making more money, living a happier life, having better relationships, then quit doing what you’re doing and do something else!  I don’t mean that you quit working towards your goal, but rather that you recognize that what you’re doing isn’t working.  You’ve discovered a great secret. You’ve discovered a failure, which is really nothing more than a result.  It’s an indication that your formula isn’t quite right… yet.

So if at first you don’t succeed, then recognize the failure, the result of what isn’t working, and change your approach. Success is not something you attain. Success is what you attract by the person you become in the process. Be bold.  Be courageous. Make the change and live your dream.

Five Lies That Are Holding You Back

LieToMeDo other people make you angry?  Do they always seem to dump on your ideas, your goals, your dreams, your aspirations? Do you find yourself in conflict with people, even sometimes those you love, over trivial things that you would like to do, have, be, or experience? Does it seem that no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to make any progress. If so, you may be under the influence of these five lies.

#1 You Need Someone Else’s Permission To Be Happy

In our culture we have this idea, this altruistic concept, that we need someone else’s permission before we can be happy. We think that we must reach some personal development milestone, or by some twisted altruistic logic, we must wait for someone else to be happy with us before we can be happy with ourselves. But the truth is we don’t. We can choose to be happy with ourselves and our life, despite someone else withholding their “permission” to do so.

That’s not to say that you run roughshod over other people and don’t take their feelings into consideration, but when something is really important to you, when you’ve invested hours into learning a new skill or developing a plan to achieve some goal, you have every right to pursue it, whether others want you to or not. As long as that goal or objective is not hurtful or destructive, like say, cheating on your spouse, or maxing out the family credit cards to buy a home theater system, then you have every right to pursue your goals and dreams and BE happy.

#2 You  Need Permission From “The Grown Ups”.

Like #1 you don’t need permission from the “grown ups”.  Why?  Because, if you’re an adult, you ARE the grown up. When you were a child the grown ups made all the decisions for you; what you eat, what you were allowed to wear, whether or not your could borrow the car and have $20 to fill the tank and go to a movie with your friends. (I was in high school in the late 1980’s, folks).

You see, you needed the permission from the grown ups when you were younger because that’s what grown ups do. They dole out permission as a privilege. If you did things right; you cleaned your room, you got good grades, you didn’t beat up your younger sibling, you got to do the things you wanted to do (to some extent).  But when you get out into the “real world”, nobody ever told you that you don’t have to ask for permission to live your life any more.

#3 You Have To Take Other People’s Negativity Into Yourself

There are people who are generally positive and optimistic, and people who are generally negative and pessimistic. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to let other people’s negativity run around inside your own mind. Even other people’s negative opinions of you are not your responsibility and you don’t have to believe them.

Gandhi said “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” Think about that for a second.  And think about how I’ve phrased this particular lie. You see when someone else dumps their negativity onto you they are, in effect, dumping it INTO you.  They are trying to put it into your mind.

I think of this as a virus. Someone else is infected by this overwhelming negative energy.  They don’t like you, they don’t respect you, they don’t think you’re capable of making a sound decision, and so on. So they take all of their negative concepts about who you are and they try infect you with it. The really insidious part of that is that they often think they are doing it for your own good.  But they’re not. They’re doing it for THEIR own good. They do it because they believe that they will somehow benefit from you adopting their perspective of who you are.

#4 Negative, Disempowering, or Controlling People Are Your Enemy

Despite the fact that negative, disempowering, and controlling people will try to infect you with their mind virus, that doesn’t make them your enemy. They are NOT the reason that you are not living the life of your dreams.  Once you make them your enemy every interaction that begins with a misalignment turns into an all out war. We make it OK to hate our enemies and because they are our enemies, it’s OK for us to conquer them.

But even though these people are in your life, it doesn’t mean that they are your enemy. If they are in your life it is for a reason and, even though your don’t have to take their negative energy into yourself, and make it part of yourself, you might listen with a discerning ear and see if you can determine the real message behind the message.

#5 Someone Else Is Responsible For Your Life Experiences

In the end, there is only one person responsible for you life experiences… YOU!

What you decide is what you will experience. If you’re in a relationship and you experience nothing but pain, then you have decided that the relationship, or the other person is the source of that pain, and so you seek to separate yourself from that source, so as to avoid the pain.

Obviously I’m not talking about physical or psychological abusive situations. That’s just dangerous. But I’m talking about the every day, experiences of life. Yes, other people influence that and yes, it can be challenging to let other people’s energy flow around you and not affect you, but ultimately YOU are the person who gives everything its meaning.

Nothing means anything until you give it a meaning, which means you are responsible for it.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

There have been a TON of ALS Ice. Bucket Challenges going around the internet the last couple of weeks. So many that some people are starting to complain about them and even publishing internet legends about people who have died doing the challenge.

But even with the bad publicity raised by a few people and the false stories of people dying, the reality is that ALS is a very rare, and very real disease that affects thousands of people every year.

So when my friend, Matt Edwards, the drummer in my band, Requiem, challenged me, I gladly accepted.

Now… On to the gratuitous Gary getting covered in ice water video….

How Are You Training People To Interact With You?

skinner boxHave you ever heard of Pavlov’s Dogs?  Ivan Pavlov was a psychologist who was studying salivation in dogs by ringing a bell and then feeding the dogs.  What was interesting about his study was when he discovered that not only did the dogs begin salivating when they smelled the food, but they also began salivating when they heard the bell, before the  food was ever even present.

They did this because Pavlov had created an associative conditioning in the animals.  They began associating the bell with food and the conditioning was so powerful that they had the same physiological response as when the food was actually presented.

This study went on to become what we know today as “Classical Conditioning”. It’s when a thing that produces a response is repeatedly paired with another thing that was not previously associated with the response, and the secondary thing begins producing the same response.

Speaking of dogs, when we were training our dog, Titan, the trainer made a very good point when she told us “Every interaction you have with the dog is training the dog.”.  So if you allow, for example, the dog to bite you, then you are, in effect, training the dog to bite you.  And the dog will eventually bite you every time.

The funny thing is people are really the same way. How you let people treat you is how you actually train them to treat you. So if you allow them to be disrespectful, condescending, critical, or even abusive, you are actually training them to treat you this way. You are, in effect, telling them that “It is OK for you to treat me like this.”, and so they continue to treat you in that way.

Conversely if you you train other people to treat you with respect, kindness, generosity, love, affection, and praise, then guess what, that’s exactly how they will treat you – OR – they will leave your life and leave you alone. But what’s more, is that you can also train yourself how you will treat other people.

Funny thing is that I was talking to my son about this today.  He was making fun of how someone else treated him.  How they wouldn’t let him do what he wanted to do, and they were this and that, and so on. And he was mockingly imitating their voice while he did it.

I stopped him and said, “You know, when you pretend to treat that person in that way as a joke, even when they’re not around, that’s a lot closer to how you are likely to treat them while they are standing in front of you.”  Do you know why?  Because he’s making a caricature of that person in his mind and he is associating the REAL person with that caricature image and treating the caricature poorly. The more you do this, the more likely you are to allow the lines between the image you have of someone and the real person to blur, until one day you find yourself making fun of the actual person, to their face.

So think about who you dislike.  What is the image you have in your head of them?  How do you treat and interact with that image? Have you paid attention to how you actually transfer that image onto the real person, and then how you begin acting around the real person the same way that you treat the image?

By doing this you are also training them not to interact with the actual flesh and blood human being that you are, but rather to interact with the person who is treating them like a caricature. What you believe you manifest, and the more you live with an association, the more that association becomes your truth, and that is what you manifest in your life.

Image Credit: McLeod, S. A. (2007). Psychology Perspectives. Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/perspective.html